When you think of Nevada, gold and silver comes to mind. In gambling, in mining, and in being a beautiful state. I suppose some people wouldn’t like the barren landscape, especially if you’re used to seeing grass and trees and having humidity, but I find the starkness of the Nevada skyline breathtaking.
So having a hiking trail by the name of Goldstrike popped up on our radar, Mike and I were like “Heck, yeah!” (Although we used more colorful metaphors).
Goldstrike Hot Springs Trail starts off easy. A nice path of packed sand and gravel, through a windingweave in a wide canyon. We did have a moment of utter disbelief as we came across the wreckage of two cars and a SUV (or truck), flipped upside down and flattened. The horror dawning as we realize that the only way they could be there was as if someone drove them off the nearby freeway. I’ve never seen anything like this and it made me very sad.
Once past that sight (knowing we’d have to walk past them once more to reach our truck), we reached the part where the easy path turns hard. A landslide of boulders (nicknamed the Boulders of Death) blocks the path and must be traversed with care. It’s very easy to twist an ankle or even break a leg. It’s here that you’ll find the first rope to help you scale down this massive roadblock.
After that you’ll face the Wall of Doom, which has no rope so brace yourself and expect a long jump to the bottom. About a quarter of the way in, we come across a bookshelf of water and food (remember this reference). Now, anyone who knows me knows I have a massive fear of heights. The paralyzing and debilitating kinds, so I knew I would be pushing my fear boundary with this hike. The first major rope scale came not too long after this, a drop of about six feet. Not bad, not great. But some nice person at some point, put notches in the stone to help those of us slightly handicapped to get down this obstacle.
Feeling proud of myself, I follow Mike to the hot springs, and this beautiful natural springs coming from the ground and rests at a nice hundred degree Fahrenheit. As we move further down the path, the hard trail suddenly turns very difficult as we reach a plateau that overlooks a huge stepping stone of boulders that go down, down, down to reach the lake at the end of the trail. And this is where we run into a lot of people because these next couple of ropes are hard to get up and down. Mike spent a good ten minutes just helping other women and girls come up. It was at this point I decided to call it quits because we were waiting for a good half hour just to go down the fifth rope. We did manage it, but it was on a wet, slippery boulder that gave no quarter.
Remember, on this hike, what goes down must come up.
So up we went, heading back to end the hike that has thus far pushed me physically and mentally as I had to overcome several moments of heart palpitating fear. Mike has always been my rock (no pun intended!) and has helped me breathe through these moments by letting me know he’s there if I need him. Being afraid of heights can be embarrassing and exhausting. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful partner in life.
On our way back to the parking lot, we pass by the bookcase of water and realize that we’ve gonethrough our entire stash of H2O. Now we understand why the hikers before us erected this precious stand. The final push to our truck did us in. We kept stopping to catch our breath, while being passed by young Millennials and the Generation Z pack, not feeling old at all! I think it took us twice as long to get back because my legs were shaky and my arms felt like noodles after traversing the ropes upward (thank goodness no pics were taken of Mike pushing my ass up those f**king boulders!
Would I go back?...absolutely! This has become of my favorite hikes. Unfortunately, the trail is only open through the winter months so I probably won’t be back until fall. I may not have made that last rope but it’ll give me something to strive for next time.
Thanks for visiting! Come back next Sunday for another adventure with us!
Mike & Beth